We Need To Pay Attention To Climate Change.


Scientists around the globe call for climate change action. Graphic by K. Peechu.

K. Peechu, Staff Writer

Climate change is worse than we imagined, and scientists are desperately trying to warn us before it’s too late.

Over 1,000 scientists from 25 different countries across the world staged week-long protests just a couple of weeks ago with the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s new report. The report warned that there would need to be “rapid and deep” cuts to greenhouse gas emissions in order to stay at or below 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming, a target set in 2015 with the Paris Agreement.

“This report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a litany of broken climate promises,” said António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in a press conference. “It is a file of shame, cataloging the empty pledges that put us firmly on track towards an unlivable world. We are on a fast-track to climate disaster.”

Within its 3,000-page contents, the report stressed that global greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025 at the very latest, and must be reduced by 43 percent by 2030 and by 84 percent by 2050 in order to reach the goal. And if nothing is done to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, then they will cause a median global warming temperature of 3.2 degrees Celsius by 2100.

The Scientist Rebellion, the group that went to the streets in demonstrations globally, wrote in a letter, “Current actions and plans are grossly inadequate, and even these obligations are not being met…Governments and corporations aim to increase growth and profits, inevitably accelerating the destruction of life on Earth.” Over 200 signatures of academics and scientists call on institutions for the same thing—drastic action needs to be taken now.

The Scientist Rebellion’s protests seek to “highlight the urgency and injustice of the climate and ecological crisis” according to a statement from the organization.

In London, 25 scientists glued their hands alongside pages of scientific papers to the windows of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in order to draw the agency’s attention to the climate research the British government has ignored. Scientists held a teach-in at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Malawi. Over 50 protesters in Madrid were arrested for throwing fake blood on the steps of the Spanish Parliament out of the 100 total scientists who participated in the demonstration.

In Los Angeles, NASA scientist Peter Kalmus alongside three other scientists were arrested for chaining themselves to the front door of a Chase Bank building, protesting the company’s investment in fossil fuels.

“We’ve been trying to warn you guys for so many decades that we’re heading towards a…catastrophe,” voiced Kalmus emotionally. “The scientists of the world are being ignored, and it’s got to stop. We’re not joking. We’re not lying. We’re not exaggerating.”

Scientist Rebellion was founded in 2020 by Ph.D. students in Scotland, inspired by the Extinction Rebellion, which is a “decentralised, international and politically non-partisan movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency” according to its website. Scientist Rebellion members have protested climate change pacifism before, such as demonstrations in front of the Royal Society and at COP26 in Glasgow.

“Listen to the scientists,” says Amwanika Sharon, a Scientist Rebellion member who has protested oil exploration and refinery construction in Uganda, to Common Dreams’ Jessica Corbett. “Hear the voices of activists. Climate justice now.”